The Baltimore Ravens broke through this past January to win their first playoff game since Lamar Jackson took over as the franchise's starting quarterback. Although the team got bounced by the Buffalo Bills in the following round, this last postseason represented somewhat of a breakthrough for the organization.
Now that he has a playoff win on his résumé, Jackson has his sights set on more success in 2021. One way he plans to do that is by improving one particular facet of the Ravens' passing game.
Jackson expressed his desire to be more "consistent" on deep passes this upcoming year. The 2019 league MVP has caught plenty of flak for not being able to pump the ball downfield with Ravens, but clearly is trying to improve that aspect of his game this summer.
“People are always saying we throw short, intermediate routes and stuff like that — little 5-yard, 10-yard routes,” Jackson said, via Ryan Mink of the team’s website. “But we had some chances last year. We hit some of them, but we’re just trying to be more consistent this year. That’s where the strides happen. It starts in practice, and hopefully it transitions to the game. We’ve just got to keep working on it.”
According to Mink, Jackson completed 34 percent of his passes that traveled at least 20 air yards in 2019 and 34.8 percent in 2020. Those marks ranked 21st in the league in both years, leaving plenty of room for the Ravens quarterback to improve.
Baltimore also ranked last in passing yards and attempts in 2020, as Jim Harbaugh continued to utilize Jackson's talent in the run game. However, the Ravens have clearly realized the importance of developing a more consistent air attack to compete in the postseason.
Jackson will get the opportunity to focus on downfield throws with Marquise "Hollywood" Brown and 2021 first round pick Rashod Bateman for the next few months before the regular season gets underway. If if he can improve his deep ball, the Ravens will get serious consideration to come out of the AFC.